Update: 3/22/12: The message out of Stony Brook regarding their not canceling classes during Christian and Jewish holidays has changed.
The narrative went from their wanting to put out the welcome mat to students of all religions to most public colleges are doing it because it provides additional study time. I think Stony Brook officials believe that a public college must be so secular as to ignore religious holidays except for Christmas which is part of the union contract and a National holiday.
The college Vice Provost seems to think that the calendar will now be simplified. They won’t penalize students who take off for the holidays and tests will not be given on that day.
Of course it is a penalty if Christians and Jews have to make up the work and they will. Good Friday, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur provide little study time and setting up the calendar is not that diffiuclt in my opinion.
You can read their message to the community for yourself here: Stony Brook Message . The Vice Provost is a social justice activist which makes his stance is hardly surprising.
From the Stony Brook website, information about Vice Provost Robbins, social justice leader –
Charles Robbins is the new Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Undergraduate Colleges. Dr. Robbins was recently named a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Robbins’ areas of professional interest and research include social justice, health, gender, complementary and alternative medicine, health care disparities, international public health, violence as a public health problem, violence between intimate partners and cultural competency.
Call him at 632-7000, ask for Vice Provost Charles Robbins, but don’t be surprised if his secretary is unpleasant and hangs the phone up on you as she did my friend.
Original Story: 3/21: No welcome mat to Christians and Jews at Stony Brook University, Long Island, New York, but especially for Jews! Maybe we should move it to Teheran and let them pay the taxes to support it.
Stony Brook University on Long Island gave out their school calendar and guess what they left out – major Christian and Jewish holidays!!! They didn’t want to make people of other religions feel badly.
Really??? Seriously??? They’re worried about peoples’ feelings? My tax dollars and yours go to this University. So, if you disapprove, call or email Dennis Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, http://www.sunysb.edu/provost/
Maybe we should stop giving scholarships to foreigners over citizens so the students don’t feel so unwelcome.
Vice Provost for undergraduate education and dean of the undergraduate college, Charles Robbins made the following inexplicable statement –
“We are trying to be respectful of all religions. We want to be equally welcoming to everybody.”
University officials said they want to level the playing field. Today, they conveniently added the claim that it will maximize class time.
…To ensure that some religions are not given preferential treatment, he said, the university is discarding the previously prepared calendar for next year and replacing it with one that keeps school open on Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Passover and Holy Week. The discarded calendar had the spring vacation coincide with Passover and Holy Week, wherever possible; the new calendar is crafted to have the spring break divide the second semester in half, no matter when Passover and Holy Week occur. As a result, the break next year occurs one week before the holidays.
Arthur Shertzer, president of United University Professions, which represents 2,500 faculty and staff, said he is mystified by the university’s actions.
“The logic is that if we celebrate no one, we honor everyone,” he said.
The university’s five chaplains have all met with university officials to register their disapproval of the move….
…Robbins said the university would be closed on Christmas because the unions took it as a contract holiday, it is a national holiday and the date falls conveniently between the first and second semesters…Read more: Stony Brook Calendar